Problem Solving 101 with Ed Birrane
At Artech House, we ask our authors what problems their books can help readers solve. In this series, we share what our authors aim to do in their writing, starting with Ed Birrane, who, along with Jason Soloff, wrote Designing Delay-Tolerant Applications for Store-and-Forward Networks:
- How can I increase the value of a congested/impaired network? Network operators and application designers are constantly working to increase the reliability and throughput of networks. The legacy approach of more hardware and more access points is reaching a point of diminishing returns. Learning how to separate real-time data from not-real-time data as both a routing and a quality-of-service activity provides a much more efficient way to break congestion logjams.
- How can I avoid building expensive point-solutions for my specific networking problem? Network operators sometimes handle delays by building performance-enhancing protocols (PEPs) that are custom-tuned to their traffic and their network topology. When their traffic patterns change, or the network is updated to extended, these PEPs have to be tuned. DTN and delay-tolerant applications provide a software solution that requires no special hardware and no special maintenance if applications running on that hardware are built to be delay-tolerant.
- How can I design an application that is resilient to a variety of impairments? Currently, network application programmers rely on the underlying network to provide security and reliability. As new domains in space networking, remote sensing, and IoT in congested areas enter industry, programmers will need to rethink the design of their applications.
- What examples of DTN and delay-tolerant applications exist that I can use in my networks right now? Several delay-tolerant applications that provide network functions such as security and network management are being developed so that network operators and application programmers do not have to re-invent them. Any technical adopter of this technology will want to first understand the extent to which fundamental network features are already provided in a challenged networking environment before deciding to build their own applications.
- What kind of performance improvements can I expect based on other deployments of these technologies? As an emerging technology, there are lessons to be learned from DTN’s early adopters. Anyone considering deploying a DTN will need to understand the achieved benefits of this technology and its operational performance to make deployment decisions.
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